This month, October 2017, is breast cancer awareness month. It’s the time of year when we turn our focus to a disease that affects 1 in 8 women in the US. Early detection continues to be the #1 deterrent of fatality occurring from breast cancer.
The strongest risk factor for women is age. The older you get, the more at risk you are. That is why annual mammograms are recommended for women over a certain age (check with your doctor for your personal recommendation for annual mammograms).
Here is a look at the risk factor increase by age:
- Age 30 . . . . . . 0.44 percent (or 1 in 227)
- Age 40 . . . . . . 1.47 percent (or 1 in 68)
- Age 50 . . . . . . 2.38 percent (or 1 in 42)
- Age 60 . . . . . . 3.56 percent (or 1 in 28)
- Age 70 . . . . . . 3.82 percent (or 1 in 26) (source)
Many breast cancer symptoms are invisible and not noticeable without a professional screening, however, monthly self-examinations can alert you to issues to discuss with your doctor. If you do find a lump, keep in mind that not all lumps are breast cancer! That is a myth as most lumps turn out to not be breast cancer. If you forgot how to do a self-exam or have never done one, check out the instructions on breastcancer.org.
Breast cancer is a disease that affects millions of Americans each day. Share the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness month by talking to a friend, contacting a loved one, or making an appointment with your own physician for a breast cancer screening. Also, get involved! When you see a fundraiser or or asked for a donation, open your heart along with your wallet and know that there are improvements being made in our ability to detect and treat breast cancer. Because of the generosity of the many foundations and donations that contribute to increased research and improved treatments and medication, progress is being made each day. Together we can eliminate breast cancer forever!